Untogether - Blue Hawaii
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Mar 11, 2013
    90
    The result is a record that's sensually stark, with not one extraneous moment marking its naked contours.
  2. It’s not an album that immediately reveals itself, but when it lets you in it’s hard to find your way out.
  3. Mar 22, 2013
    80
    The question of whether BRAIDS will return or not melts away in this deeply personal insight into Blue Hawaii's emotional and physical connections with one another.
  4. Mar 6, 2013
    80
    Put intellectual conceits aside and Untogether’s dense, throbbing undercurrent, a soundtrack to some alternative dancefloor, proves alluring.
  5. Mar 4, 2013
    80
    Fluid and at times utterly beautiful, few will grow tired of these songs living in their headphones.
  6. Feb 14, 2013
    80
    Their name may reference a 52-year-old Elvis Presley musical, but Blue Hawaii are poised to have a lot of people talking about them right now.
  7. Feb 12, 2013
    80
    This ultimately is Untogether’s crowning victory: despite being mapped by its lack of psychological surroundings, this firmly inward-looking record transports you head-first to Blue Hawaii’s special place, a serene vista where alien syllabic whimsy feels genuinely spiritual, and fuck-giving is most strictly forbidden.
  8. Feb 12, 2013
    80
    Untogether's aloof beauty comes as something of a surprise given how free-flowing and whimsical Blooming Summer was, but while this change takes some getting used to, it's an impressive debut from a group that has taken the time--and space--to refine and develop its sound.
  9. Mar 4, 2013
    71
    The problem with Untogether is that that Blue Hawaii occasionally get carried away with emphasizing and embracing disjointedness.
  10. 70
    It’s the kind of album that sounds best listened to solo.
  11. 70
    Untogether is a well executed record, but not a stunning one.
  12. Mar 5, 2013
    70
    The brooding album is one for self-reflection on those winter nights when you want to be alone with your thoughts. This is great in its own right, but for the next album, the group might want to let a little more light in as well.
  13. Feb 12, 2013
    70
    Blue Hawaii are more about atmosphere than impact, with the production clearly influenced by Cowan's time in Germany studying at the university if Kompakt. [Mar 2013, p.68]
  14. 67
    It is intensely personal, tangled in the sentiments that privately plague each of us. Untogether is meant for those cold, murky nights in which we feel completely and utterly alone.
  15. Mar 5, 2013
    60
    Untogether does manage to lose its grip on your attention, at times, falling back on a bit of redundancy, but when it takes hold, it grabs you by the ears and fills them with a wistfulness that haunts you for days.
  16. Feb 12, 2013
    60
    At times the songs are as fragile as fog, and when the vocal tricks of "Daisy" and "Nightskies" become a but much it's like a mouthful of too-sweet candy lasting linger than expected. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.86]
  17. Feb 12, 2013
    60
    While Untogether is immaculately put together, it does take a while to cross over and connect with you.
  18. Mar 26, 2013
    50
    There are moments on Untogether where the music comes close to the sensuality that it frequently hints at, but it’s so caught up in embracing separation that it pushes out anything resembling redemption.
  19. Mar 6, 2013
    50
    Perhaps what is most obvious is that Untogether may have benefited from Blue Hawaii turning it up just a notch or two.
  20. Feb 12, 2013
    40
    A little less austerity, however, might have made it easier to warm to the experience as a whole. [Mar 2013, p.94]
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jan 2, 2014
    7
    Unlike Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Alexander Cowan's debut album (the self released Blooming Summer) the duo's second album, Untogether,Unlike Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Alexander Cowan's debut album (the self released Blooming Summer) the duo's second album, Untogether, was recorded with the couple (in the romantic sense) producing most of it separately. Standell-Preston recording her half in Canada and Cowan his half in Europe. The resulting music gathered here has a strange lack of centre which produces a dreamlike vibe. Even the techno tracks sound disembodied. Never is there a sense of ennui or tedium on these tracks. For every dub techno moodscape their is a pretty dream pop song.

    Untogether is the sound of a couple working apart with the space between filled with a sense of yearning and dissociation. From the giddy love of Blooming Summer to the ghostly detachment of Untogether Blue Hawaii have produced two contrasting albums reflecting contrasting sides of a romantic, musical relationship.
    Full Review »
  2. May 19, 2013
    5
    The Canadian electronic scene seems to be ever growing. With 2012 seeing major released from Grimes and Crystal Castles, both releasing theirThe Canadian electronic scene seems to be ever growing. With 2012 seeing major released from Grimes and Crystal Castles, both releasing their third album, Blue Hawaii are in good company. If I had to compare them to either Crystal Castles or Grimes, then it would be the latter, but in truth, they really sit in between. Vocally they have some Halfaxa sounds going on, Grimes’ second album. Musically though, it’s a cleaner mix of both of them, with cut up vocal tracks in some places but overall the album is more contained. The first track feels like a sampler of the album to come, you get a good feel of the overall tone the Blue Hawaii have.

    The singing on second track “Try To Be” remind me a little of musical direction Emika is going in her second album, or what I have heard. “Try To Be” is a calm song, it’s very easy listening.

    “In Two” carries on the general calm Grimes feel, but feels dancy at the same time yet not as much as “Oblivion” or “Genesis”. “In Two II” doesn’t feel much like it carries on from part I. It seems like the band are gaining their own ground, separating them from their contemporaries by choosing to produce a more relaxed dance electronic sound that settles nicely in your mind. The problem I have is that it doesn’t really go anywhere extreme, it’s always one pleasantry after another, I want to get to the conversation instead of endless “hellos”.

    I like the amount of bass they have, it goes well with there sound, but it is subtle and they seem to be working with that. I think some artists have a lack of it, and others really implement the use of bass lines and drones. This makes the music interesting, it adds a different layer and makes me stay to listen to the album through.

    Sometimes it reminds me of TOKiMONSTA, but as soon as I think that, it changes. There are very subtle 80′s elements in this album. Slight popcorn sounding synths, and other nostalgic sounds but the band never seem to land on anything concrete other than there base pleasurable calming sound.

    Despite the initial prospect and the promise, the album blends and lacks a lot to distinguish itself. It doesn’t capture your attention much, there isn’t really that one song that comes on and you never want it off. Yes, there are some good songs, “Follow”, ”Try To Be” and “Flammarion”

    The album is very pleasant and very well spoken like a gentleman, but it lacks, for now, any ambition. It doesn’t take you anywhere exciting, sure it takes you away to a dream world, and it’s good for that. It’s good for a cloud fantasy. But as an album, it just blurs. It doesn’t have enough substance for me to love it. I can just like to listen to it, and appreciate it, but that’s it.
    Full Review »